COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State women’s gymnastics team was picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the league announced Thursday. In addition, senior Alexis Mattern and rookie Jenna Swartzentruber were selected as gymnasts to watch in the conference.
The Buckeyes were chosen behind Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa while Penn State rounds out the top five teams in the conference.
Mattern, a 2017 first team All-Big Ten honoree, competed in the all-around in every meet for the Buckeyes during her junior campaign. She won or tied for the all-around title five times, won vault five times, picked up four floor exercise titles and won uneven bars twice a season ago. Mattern posted the 26th-best RQS nationally in the all-around and tied for 21st in floor RQS and 25th in vault RQS.
Swartzentruber, a native of Centerburg, Ohio, was a 2016 Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier. She placed sixth in the all-around after tying for second on uneven bars and fifth on vault at the 2015 JO Nationals. In 2016, Swartzentruber also finished sixth at JO Nationals, winning the uneven bars title while placing fifth on floor exercise and seventh on vault.
Ohio State returns 10 letterwinners from the 2017 NCAA Regional squad and welcomes six newcomers this season. The team kicks off the 2018 campaign at UCLA on Jan. 6.
BIG TEN WOMEN’S GYMNASTICS PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL
- Ohio State
- Penn State
- Michigan State
BIG TEN WOMEN’S GYMNASTS TO WATCH LIST
Rae Balthazor, So., Illinois
Bridget Hodan, Sr., Illinois*
Clair Kaji, So., Iowa
Lanie Snyder, Sr., Iowa*
Alecia Farina, So., Maryland
Audrey Barber, Fr., Maryland
Olivia Karas, Jr., Michigan*
Brianna Brown, Sr., Michigan*
Gabriella Douglas, So., Michigan State
Lea Mitchell, Fr., Michigan State
Hannah Hitchcock, Sr., Minnesota
Lexy Ramler, Fr., Minnesota
Megan Schweihofer, Jr., Nebraska*
Sienna Crouse, Jr., Nebraska*
Alexis Mattern, Sr., Ohio State
Jenna Swartzentruber, Fr., Ohio State
Briannah Tsang, Sr., Penn State*
Lauren Bridgens, Fr., Penn State
Elizabeth Groden, Sr., Rutgers
Makenzey Shank, Sr., Rutgers
* denotes 2016-17 Academic All-Big Ten Honoree